Continuing with yesterday's topic, I did a lot of writing in college, too. I stopped writing poetry and moved towards short stories. At one point, I wrote a short story every week.
Mostly, though, I wrote plays. This is because I got an English minor by going through the playwriting sequence. I have about forty to fifty different plays from that time period, and they're all less than ten pages.
Then, something horrible happened.
I took English 20--Introduction to Literary Criticism--and I completely lost my ability to understand literature. Suddenly, metaphors were stripped of all meaning. And themes? I don't even know what themes are. From what I can tell, the professor decides what the story means. Then he reads the story and pretends that his meaning fits it perfectly. I'm on to you, Professor. I know you're just making things up as you go along.
But then when I asked all the other English-y people, they couldn't explain things either. I mean, they were good English majors, so they knew that Shakespeare is awesome. But they couldn't really explain why. I think it has something to do with metaphors.
And metaphors are where the words in the book mean something completely different from what they mean, right? I still don't get it.
Anyway, that pretty much ended my English career. I used to be able to understand themes and metaphors and subtext. Now, it seems like these are things people make up out of nowhere, and I can't enjoy the books I liked reading when I was in high school. And I can't understand any of the metaphors I used in my poems, either. It's a really weird experience to read something I wrote that used to make so much sense, and now it seems like complete nonsense.
The same thing happened when I read Descartes. The first time I read his work, it made perfect sense, and he was a genius. And when I re-read it six months later, it was all confusing and ridiculous. I don't know what happened to cause this complete reversal.